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Anyone for spinal fusion 20's

Hey all,

I was wandering whether anyone had had a recent spinal fusion who are in their 20's?

Basically I'm 22 after a RTA in 2009 I have been left with no other option other than the spinal fusion and would love some positive support! I'm terrified and have heard plenty of negative stories but very few positive, if I was able to live any kind of life without the surgery I would but it is just not possible anymore. I have arthritis already and my hip has started to take a real bashing now as well with the onset of arthritis obvious on both sides which is a direct result of my ongoing back pain. I have fought for 5 years. I am scheduled in next month and would really really appreciate some positive stories and support! I am only looking for a 50% pain reduction anything over that is a positive and I have realistic expectations and know the risks.

Thanks in advance :)

Very very very scared girl!!
Pelvic fixation 2009, L5/S1 fusion 2014


  • I'm 24 and had an ALIF with posterior instrumentation at L4-S1 in October. Best decision I made. My pain is 95% gone at this point with only a bit of lingering leg pain. I know there is a very good chance I'll have additional spine problems in the future due to the fusion, but I'm hoping for the best and will deal with them when the time comes.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • Thanks for that I needed to hear one person who is positive I know you have to take the good and the bad but on the run up I heard nothing but bad and was starting to doubt my decision. I'm actually looking at having the op next month and know I have little choice but I want to be positive in my recovery to get the best chance :) I'm glad you have had such a success, I have been warned I will most likely have lingering leg pain and my hip is going to make recovery slightly tougher. Sorry to sound stupid but what does ALIF mean, I'm not good with the talk!

    Thanks :)

    Slightly less terrified haha
    Pelvic fixation 2009, L5/S1 fusion 2014
  • ALIF is an anterior lumbar interbody fusion. I have 5" incisions in my abdomen and back. The actual removal of disc and fusion was done through my abdomen with bone grafts from my ribs. Then they flipped me over, made an incision in my back, and placed the hardware through that incision. Anterior fusions have a quicker recovery because there is more room to work through the abdomen and less back muscles have to be cut.

    I don't know what your situation is, but going into the fusion, my surgeon told me to expect a 70% chance of reducing 70% of my pain. The first week was rough, but my recovery has gone pretty smooth. The best advice I can give is to walk as much as you can after surgery and do your best to stay out of bed.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • Yeah yours is definitely a lot worse than what I'm having, I'm just having the bottom vertebrae possibly bottom 2 fused to my sacrum and only doing it from the back with screws and a little bit of metal.
    I've been told I have a very good chance of having a 50-70% reduction in pain although they are not sure whether my leg pain will go because of my hips.
    The recovery is actually the bit I'm more worried about although I have already learnt to walk again once so hopefully I will make another good recovery and be able to build a bit of muscle back.
    Pelvic fixation 2009, L5/S1 fusion 2014
  • I'm 24 and I'm 5.5 months post op from an L5-S1 360 fusion. Had a disc replaced, nerve canals opened, and screws/rods put in. Best decision I ever made.

    My leg pain is 100% resolved and, aside from some acheyness if I slouch(I guess that's normal for anyone, though I can't remember lol), I'm pain free.

    My recovery wasn't too bad. The first 2-3 weeks were rough, but I also had a cold which made me miserable. After that, I felt ok, just a bit stiff and slow. Was off pain meds by 3 weeks post op. Returned to work/normal activity 3 months post op.
    L5-S1 360 fusion on 10/1/13
  • I am not in my 20's but I am 15 and my aurgery was not elective surgery either. I had an emergency/urgent surgery due to a broken C2. I have had 2 spinal fusions in the time span of a year so now currently have my occipital-C2 fused. I still am in a lot of pain and am still having many of the symptoms but my case is more of an unusual one so that may be why. I have also been told that the surgeries I have had are the hardest for the body to recover from so that is partially against me along with other problems. I would love to talk to you! Just PM me and I am give more info but that is the main just of my story. So I do understand how you feel.
  • SupergluedSSuperglued Posts: 9
    edited 03/25/2014 - 2:49 PM
    edited to remove comment NOT posted by member
  • Like 102876 my surgery was not elective….I was in an MVA in 1994….I was 11. Jefferson's fracture on C1 and Hang Mans fracture on C2. They had to superglue me back together. I was amazingly fortunate in that there was no spinal cord compromise. I have had little to no issues save for the past year (Im 31 now)….my current issues have to do with the wires they used back in the day. I have pain and numbness, but it is relatively minor compared to some others on this site (I do not need narcotics on a regular basis). Im having surgery on Friday to have the wires removed.

    I think your positive attitude will help your recovery (I know it helped mine back in the day). Being realistic is also very very important. They say the more you do right after surgery, the better the long term outcome is…that is something I do believe.

    If it helps, I am terrified too. Having spine surgery is just unnerving. I think it has helped a lot that I have been able to talk to my family about it and I know that I don't really have an option (kind of like you) besides surgery, as my pain and numbness won't get better….my pain might not go away completely.

    Becoming a part of a community like this helps as well. Asking questions and knowing you are not alone is very comforting.

    Good luck to you!!! If you need to talk, feel free to message me. :-)

    ~ Glued
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